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(PRESS RELEASE) – In order to maintain good quality bananas and to secure the regional exporting market, Taiwan Technical Mission Banana Productivity Improvement Project (BPIP) held the ‘Banana Quality Control and Pest Control for Regional Market Workshop’ on February 17 at Canelle.
Taiwan Technical Mission Technician Johnson Wu, Bo Ying Lin, and Chih Min Yu, BPIP Manager Kerde Severin and Extension Officers Stephen Moncherry and Joshua Surage, Banana Exporters Nicholas Faisal, Tony Griffith, and Curtis Fontenelle, Ministry of Agriculture Crop Protection Officer Cletus Alexander and Quarantine Officer Natasha Duncan were key partners who attended the workshop. In total there were more than 100 participants.
Banana Exporters Faisal, Griffith, and Fontenelle described the current situation of the banana regional market and the problems they encountered, so that the farmers could understand how severe the consequences would be if the farmers do not follow the standard instruction of the harvesting procedures. Farmers were also being asked to improve pest control to control the quality of bananas.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s Crop Protection Officer Mr. Alexander and Quarantine Officer Ms. Duncan explained to the farmers how mealybugs could infest the plants and spread in the fields, along with the damage they could do to the quality. Extension Officer Mr. Surage demonstrated the proper techniques in harvesting to control quality and pest pressure. BPIP manager Mr. Severin stated that the long term goal is to make every farm Global GAP certified, and that all the St. Lucian bananas would be of good quality. In closing, Technician Wu indicated Taiwan Technical Mission will keep providing St. Lucian farmers with the necessary assistance, and he encouraged all stakeholders to work together to secure the regional market.